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Old 15-08-2012, 09:58   #1
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Windlass Speed

Hi, at the risk of sounding stupid, I am having a problem with raising and lowering my anchor. Often at the start of the procedure the windlass is very slow, about on quarter of its usual rate. Then, as it has warmed up, so to speak, it suddenly jumps to its standard rate. We have a Beneteau 46, 2008 model. Any suggestions? Thanks.
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Old 15-08-2012, 10:02   #2
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Re: Windlass speed

Are you sure that isnt just as it's pulling the anchor out of the bottom? Or, at first it is having to pull the weight of a long piece of chain... as it comes up it is pulling less weight...? Maybe it is undersized..?
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Old 15-08-2012, 10:13   #3
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Re: Windlass speed

Checked the connectors? Think of all that current-draw....

Is the winch motor slow as well, or could there be some slip?
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Old 15-08-2012, 11:56   #4
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Re: Windlass speed

Definitely not a load issue, same problem going down and up. But I will try and check the connections, and report back. Thanks.
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Old 15-08-2012, 11:58   #5
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Re: Windlass speed

What type of windlass?
Have you ever changed the gear oil?
What is the source of power? (own battery or long cable run from house)
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Old 16-08-2012, 01:45   #6
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Re: Windlass Speed

Long cable run from house batteries. The state of charge of the house batteries does not seem to have an affect on the problem. I have never changed the gear oil, should I do so?
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Old 16-08-2012, 02:25   #7
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Re: Windlass Speed

Welcome to the forum Paul.
It sounds like its a mechanical problem with the windlass. The other possibility is the carbon brushes in the winch motor, which sometimes make better contact after a bit of vibration, or the commutator cleans up as it rotates around.

The carbon brushes need replacing periodically, you can do this yourself or take in to a car auto electrician who will do the job cheaply.

It does not sound like a conection or wiring problem, but strange things happen when the conections heat up.
A very easy test is to measure the the voltage at the winch motor WITH THE WINCH RUNNING. All you need is a multimeter on volts at the poles of the winch motor. This test will rule out any wiring problem.
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Old 16-08-2012, 04:05   #8
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Re: Windlass Speed

Thanks, I will run the multimeter test first, as you say, that will eliminate the possibility of a wiring problem. The carbon brushes not making proper contact sounds like a good possibility. That is because the problem has become more frequent in recent days, so it sounds like something is deteriorating.

We are currently cruising around the Balearic Islands, off the coast of Spain, which means frequent anchoring in different "Cala's" or coves, and sometimes it is important to get the anchor down, or up, quickly given the tightness of many anchoring situations.

By the way, the winch is a Quick model AT1012D.
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Old 16-08-2012, 05:55   #9
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Re: Windlass Speed

QUICK "ANTARES" Userís Manual ➥ http://www.quickitaly.com/images/pdf...10_15_psnl.pdf
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Old 24-08-2012, 09:10   #10
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Re: Windlass Speed

The windlass control in the cockpit has a convenient Voltmeter as one of it's features. Prior to starting an up or down anchoring manoeuvre the Voltmeter shows 12.4 Volts, but as soon as I start raising or lowering the anchor the Voltage drops to 7 or 8 Volts. Also, the windlass trip switch has started to trip. That all makes me think it is a connection problem. However, the electrical connections at the windlass are perfect, no corrosion, I've tightened them up, but its made no difference. I guess it may be another connection somewhere along the line, so I will check those out. Just thought I should report on progress, and any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 24-08-2012, 09:19   #11
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Re: Windlass Speed

Hmmmm..... wont the voltage take a huge dip when running a 1000 watt motor on a good windlass? Can you really tell anything by doing this? Just like a starter motor isnt it? If you're going to check it , I would also do the same check back at the source and how much it dips back there....
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Old 24-08-2012, 15:29   #12
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Re: Windlass Speed

Or you could actually measure the voltage drop in each leg of the wiring. To do this, you will need to attach extension leads on the DVM so that you can put one probe on each end of the wire in question, and then note the voltage that develops under load between those points.. Doing this removes the issue of normal voltage drop in the battery under heavy load.

Cheers,

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Old 01-09-2012, 00:21   #13
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Re: Windlass Speed

Thanks Jim. I will try that. I have had a professional boat mechanic come out and have a look, and he called the "Quick" representative here in Barcelona, and neither of them have come up with a solution. I will report back.
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Old 01-09-2012, 00:53   #14
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Re: Windlass Speed

It certainly sounds like a connection/battery problem 7-8v is way too low.That's good, because these problems are the easiest and cheapest to fix.

Take the chain off the gypsy so the winch can run safely and make all the measurements with the winch running, no load on the winch is OK they still draw a large current.

First measure the voltage at the motor terminals to confirm the voltage drop. Anything less than 11.5v is poor.
Next mesure the voltage at the battery terminals ( winch running) if this is low the battery is the problem. If this is OK. The voltage drop is in the wiring/connectors and it's easy to isolate where.

As Jim says put a long wire extension on one of the multimeter leads. Thin wire is OK.
Put one end on the + battery terminal and one end on the + motor terminal of the winch motor. This measures the actual voltage drop. The Reading should be less than about 0.3v. Repeat from the negative pole of the battery and the negative motor terminal. The high reading is the defective side. One side will show the very high 5v voltage drop you are seeing on the hand controler

Now leave the lead on the battery terminal and trace the wire back at each conection like the solenoid check the voltage. When the high voltage drop disappears you have isolated where the problem is.

The most likely culprit is a defective winch solenoid these often develop high resistance.
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Old 01-09-2012, 02:19   #15
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Re: Windlass Speed

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
......
The most likely culprit is a defective winch solenoid these often develop high resistance.
Amen, brother.

I never was a shipmate with a solenoid I trusted, let alone actively liked. When I was crewing for pay, I reckon I earned about half of it jury rigging, jury repairing, bypassing, or replacing: heating/cooking gas, autopilot, hydraulic valve, or windlass solenoids.

Sometimes more than one at a time.

It seems to me it's the thermal expansion and contraction, which seems to invariably cause a delamination of the potting with the case and/or windings. And before you know it, in goes the salt air if you're lucky, or seawater if you're like me. Having to have ferromagnetic core material (ferro=corrosion potential) doesn't help, one little bit.

My next boat will have ZERO solenoids. I'd rather fit a submersible motor with a leadscrew and bronze nut....
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